I spent a week in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A�Chiang Mai is in the northern part of the country; twenty hours by train, fourteen hours by bus, and an hour and a half flight from busy and bustling Bangkok.
Chiang Mai has a temple on every corner, and I learned fairly quickly that I shouldn’t use 7-11’s or these sparkling Wats as references points, as I kept getting directionally disoriented.
Grasping the city’s layout didn’t take that long though. A�On one of the first days in Chiang Mai, I rented a bicycle and aimlessly rode through the streets, stopping when I saw something of interest or when I needed a refreshing Thai tea.
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On another day, I walked towards Thapae Gate and the direction of the well known night market. A�As a walked, what looked to be a cute cafe caught my attention, and curious, I walked closer to investigate. A�I realized that the cafe was in fact a boutique hotel, unique and trendy. A�I knew immediately that I wanted to stay there, but almost just as immediately, I discovered the nightly rates were even more pricey than many a Santa Monica hotel. A�Slightly disappointed, I walked away thinking that I would come back for a beverage during happy hour, and only wishfully thought that maybe someday I would come back to stay.
And ‘someday’ can happen a lot sooner than you expect…
While in Thailand, I started using Agoda.com, a hotel booking site that offers deep price cuts, even up to 75 percent off regular rates. A�When I checked Agoda for where I to stay the following nights, I found the hotel that I had so immediately adored. A�The rate definitely wasn’t backpacker price or even cheap, but it was affordable, and I had said that I would stay at Mo Rooms, the name of this chic hotel, so I figured someday had arrived much sooner than I expected.
Mo Rooms is located on Thapae Road. A�There are very few rooms at this hotel, and all of the rooms are themed, like cow, ox, dragon, etc. A�No two rooms are identical. A�The lower level of the hotel welcomes a guest by a glassed in cafe area, and an open air bar, with wood tables creating a natural, eco-friendly feel. A�The wood blends into a pebbled walk leading to a irregular shaped pool. A�Stairs to the right lead up to a room filled with couches, books, and a balcony wear travelers can sit and observe the world.
My room was the Dragon Room, decorated with reds and whites, simple and modern, a flight screen TV on one end, and the doorless washroom on the opposite end, only separated by a cave like wall. A� It really did feel like I was sleeping in a cave. A�Breakfast was included in the room rate, and in the morning, I enjoyed french toast with fresh fruit.
The hotel is more inclined for honeymooners, and I probably wouldn’t stay there again, as there are just as wonderful guesthouse accommodations in the city for much less the cost. A�But, it’s definitely chic, and if you like boutique hotels, you should book a night at Mo Rooms. A� And if you don’t, stop by in the afternoon to enjoy the atmosphere and take advantage of the happy hour.
Other guesthouses I stayed at in Chiang Mai included Dozy House and Sculpture Hostel. A�Dozy House is great; clean, friendly owner, airport pick-up for 100bht, bicycles for rent, tour bookings, and more. A�I highly recommend Dozy House. A�The only downside for me was that is a little bit farther walk from the night bazaar and places that I wanted to see. A� Sculpture Hostel was also nice, located on the same street as the weekend market, and there are also nice cafes and restaurants less than a block away. A�The location is the main appeal.